MAD Wishes Happy 10th Birthday NRAS!!
M.A.D Brits for NRAS just celebrated the 10th birthday of the NRAS, and they’ve got more to celebrate because of the progress they are making. Marie just sent us an update. Want to find out more about Donny’s Make A Difference Program Click here to read about the MAD programs of 2011/2012.
Well, what a busy few weeks it’s been for the M.A.D Brits for NRAS since our last update! October 12th was World Arthritis Day and October 18th was NRAS’s 10th Birthday ; we have certainly been celebrating in style!!
NRAS is in the process of offering the same support service for children with Juvenille Idiopathic Arthritis as they do for adults, helping them to deal with their disease and building a support network to enable them to meet up with other children with JIA , so money raised will help support that service. Below are some of the things the M.A.D Brits (Marie (me), Ann, Jackie, Sam, Lucy, Jan, Therese, Grace and Kath) have been doing;
- We’ve held several Tea Parties and Cake Sales. Jackie’s employer doubled what she raised which really boosted our fundraising amount! At mine, our local newspaper, the Sutton Coldfield News attended and printed a very good article, with pictures, about our M.A.D programme and how it all began! I also collected prizes kindly donated by local businessess and held a raffle which again boosted funds!
- Jackie, Lucy, Sam, Jan , Ann and Therese held a stall selling used and new unwanted items at Milton Keynes shopping mall
- Lucy has organised a ‘ Strictly Come Dancing ‘ sweep ,(U.K’s version of ‘Dancing with the Stars’, you know , the one you WON!!!) the winner of which will receive a gift from a certain show in Chicago!! She has also sent M.A.D Donny Kisby, a toy corgi puppy, around the world, raising money as he goes!! .
- Ann organised a sponsored walk in Portsmouth along with the other girls which took place on October 15th. The sun shone, they raised money and they had a great day!
- Sold PURPLE wristbands, MADBRITS FOR NRAS printed on them and Sam has organised a group who are knitting squares for blankets to sell.
- I , Marie, have sent many letters to local and national businessess asking for support and have so far received ┬ú300 ($483) in donations from 2 large retailers and secured a bag packing day at Asda Walmart in January.
- Shared links from R.A support sites, such as R.A Chicks- Women with R.A (U.S) , Nras.HealthUnlocked, Arthritis Foundation (U.S), on social media websites to raise awareness.
- As the only member of M.A.D Brits for NRAS who sufferers from Rheumatoid Arthritis , I am able to get involved at a personal level and am delighted to say I have been accepted as an NRAS Network Volunteer! Once my references came through from my Rheumatologist, it was all systems go! It will be hard work but so fulfilling!
- My personal highlight over the last few weeks was organising an Awareness Day for NRAS. As part of World Arthritis Day October 12th Campaign and in recognition of NRAS’s birthday, I held an Awareness Day in my local shopping mall which was really successful and so rewarding! I spoke to a lady who was newly diagnosed struggling with her diagnosis, people with longstanding disease, relatives worried about family members with R.A , people worried they may have R.A and a young Mom who felt isolated because of R.A. It was such a fulfilling experience and another one is planned for the new year. Many people with or without R.A were drawn to the stand because of the article in the Sutton Coldfield News and the picture of me with Donny, saying that it caught their attention! Thank You , Donny!
- I was so moved by the experience that I am setting up an NRAS Support Group in my area to help people living with R.A. I have a meeting October 31st with 2 other NRAS members to put our ideas into action, I am very excited!
- I was invited to join and attended a meeting of the Birmingham branch of the Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Alliance, a group who lobby government and hospitals to ensure arthritis patients get fair and reasonable treatment.
- I organised a sponsored 5K walk in aid of NRAS which took place today, Saturday 29th October. Some of my wonderful family and friends, an amazing 32 in all, including my 4 year old Grandson and Sue Pantall-Burgess, R.A sufferer and a Donny.commer, walked ( some of the fitter ones jogged!) around Sutton Park, our beautiful local park. The weather was windy but kind to us and we had a blast, my husband treating everyone to a well earned drink in the park’s restaurant afterwards!! We called ourselves M.A.D for NRAS, Sutton Coldfield Team, and together we have raised, so far, around ┬ú2000 !! ($3224). The website for our walk for anyone able to donate is;www.virginmoneygiving.com/team/madfornrassutoncoldfield and the general website for donations to MAD Brits for Nras is; www.justgiving.com/teams/madbritsfornras. All donations go to NRAS and will really Make A Difference to adults and children living with Rheumatoid Arthritis.